Department of Veterans Affairs




             Enterprise Architecture:
Strategy, Governance, & Implementation


 VA Ente...
Secretary’s Vision for Enterprise Architecture


           The Department of Veterans Affairs will be recognized as the l...
ii
Department of Veterans Affairs
            Enterprise Architecture: Strategy, Governance, and Implementation
The members o...
iv
1
What is Enterprise Architecture? – OMB A-130 Definition

     An Enterprise Architecture is the explicit description and...
vi
Executive Summary2
    This document presents the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Enterprise
    Architecture strategy...
VA’s Enterprise Architecture is the “blueprint” for systematically and completely
       defining and documenting the orga...
scope and depth; and the selection criteria used by VA’s Enterprise
    Architecture Innovation Team.
•   Development & De...
x
Table of Contents
Secretary’s Vision for Enterprise Architecture ............................................................
4.5     Establishing, Updating, and Realizing VA's Target Architecture .....................32
5.0         Evaluation, Evo...
List of Figures
Figure 1. VA’s Governance Framework (i.e., Structures and Processes)........................ 14
Figure 2. ...
xiv
1.0   The Foundation of VA’s Enterprise Architecture

1.1   Introduction
      On Wednesday, April 4, 2001, the Secretary ...
1.2   VA Mission, Vision, and Goals
             “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for
             his...
support effective delivery of services and benefits, enabling effective decision-
making and understanding of our capabili...
•   VA information systems will be high-performance systems that meet or
             exceed exemplary standards in busine...
•   Challenges
    - Funding for VA’s Enterprise Architecture (overall VA and
      program/business requirements) must be...
- Demonstrate to veterans that VA is doing all that is possible to
               enhance its provision of comprehensive, ...
•   VA’s Enterprise Architecture and systems will be designed to adapt to
       changing program/business needs.
   •   S...
•   Reduce redundancy of information technology systems and data, seek
                 commonality across program/busines...
content of Agency Enterprise Architectures.5 Similarly, the Chief Information
Officer Council, the Department of the Treas...
Smart Practices in Capital Planning, produced by the FAWG and the Capital
      Planning and Information Technology Manage...
commitment with senior leadership sponsorship that is managed by an
      organizational entity held accountable for succe...
12
2.0   Enterprise Architecture Governance in VA

2.1   Introduction
      This chapter presents an overview of the structur...
all major policy and management issues, assessing options, and making
     recommendations to the Secretary through VA’s E...
Figure 1 summarizes the organizational structure of overall VA governance and
        the processes that support it. The E...
Objectives:
         •   Ensure the VA Enterprise Architecture alignment and integration between
             information ...
2.3.2   Overall VA Enterprise Architecture Governance
        The purpose of Enterprise Architecture governance is to mana...
VA's Chief Enterprise Architect is also the manager of VA’s Enterprise
      Architecture.     In this role, the Chief Ent...
technology communities is also an important factor to VA’s Enterprise
      Architecture implementation and long-term rele...
•   Project investment approval process – describing the steps for obtaining
         approval and funding.
     •   Relat...
3.0     Enterprise Architecture Framework Selection & Use

3.1     Introduction
        VA evaluated the available archite...
3.2.2   Architecture Scope
        It is critically important that VA’s Enterprise Architecture development be
        app...
3.4          Enterprise Architecture Framework Choice: The Zachman Framework for
             VA’s Enterprise Architecture...
The basic idea behind the Zachman Framework is that the same complex thing or
     item can be described for different pur...
VA will derive the following benefits from using the Zachman Framework:
         •   Improved information technology budge...
directed policy and standards, common security directions, intra-
     Administration integration, and VA’s overarching se...
4.0   Development & Deployment of VA’s Enterprise Architecture

4.1   Introduction
      This chapter describes VA’s Enter...
Department of Veterans Affairs
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Department of Veterans Affairs

  1. 1. Department of Veterans Affairs Enterprise Architecture: Strategy, Governance, & Implementation VA Enterprise Architecture Innovation Team August, 2001 v 10.01
  2. 2. Secretary’s Vision for Enterprise Architecture The Department of Veterans Affairs will be recognized as the leader in Enterprise Architecture within the Federal government. We will continuously benchmark the quality and delivery of our service with the best available and use innovative means and high technology to deliver world-class services to our Nation’s veterans and their families, and our employees. As the entrusted stewards of veterans information, we will ensure that only authorized personnel have access to veteran information and that our financial transactions are protected. Our highly skilled workforce of business and information technology professionals will be dedicated to ensuring that our Enterprise Architecture solutions are veteran-focused and developed in partnership with veterans groups and other organizations. Together, through our Enterprise Architecture, we will continuously strive to reach a higher standard in carrying out our vitally important mission. Anthony J. Principi Secretary of Veterans Affairs i
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  4. 4. Department of Veterans Affairs Enterprise Architecture: Strategy, Governance, and Implementation The members of VA’s Enterprise Architecture Innovation Team, affix their signatures indicating their approval and support of this unanimously agreed upon VA Enterprise Architecture strategy and guide. Name Title Signature Bruce A. Brody Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cyber Security, Office of Information and Technology Ernesto D. Castro Director, Technology Integration Service, Office of Information and Technology Gary A. Christopherson Chief Information Officer, Veterans Health Administration James Demetriades Chief Enterprise Architect, Veterans Health Administration Jennifer S. Duncan Supervisory Program Analyst Mark Durocher Director, Information Systems Service, National Cemetery Administration Phil Edenfield Director, Payroll/Personnel Systems Service, Office of Finance Nora E. Egan Chief of Staff Robert J. Epley Associate Deputy Under Secretary for Policy and Program Management, Veterans Benefits Administration Ventris C. Gibson Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Resources Management, Office of Human Resources and Administration K. Adair Martinez Chief Information Officer, Veterans Benefits Administration Guy H. McMichael III Acting Assistant Secretary for Information Technology Edward F. Meagher Special Assistant to the Secretary Laura J. Miller Assistant Deputy Under Secretary For Health, Veterans Health Administration Irwin Pernick Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Office of Policy and Planning Charles M. Singleton Director, coreFLS Project Technical Infrastructure, Office of Finance Gary A. Steinberg Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Office of Policy and Planning Daniel A. Tucker Director, Office of Finance and Planning, National Cemetery Administration Donald J. Williams Chief Technology Officer, Veterans Benefits Administration Al Zeuch Director of Operations, Office of Information and Technology iii
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  6. 6. 1 What is Enterprise Architecture? – OMB A-130 Definition An Enterprise Architecture is the explicit description and documentation of the current and desired relationships among program/business and management processes and information technology. It describes the "current architecture" and "target architecture" to include the rules and standards and systems life cycle information to optimize and maintain the environment which the agency wishes to create and maintain by managing its information technology portfolio. The Enterprise Architecture must also provide a strategy that will enable the agency to support its current state and also act as the roadmap for transition to its target environment. These transition processes will include an agency's capital planning and investment control processes, agency Enterprise Architecture planning processes, and agency systems life cycle methodologies. The Enterprise Architecture will define principles and goals and set direction on such issues as the promotion of interoperability, open systems, public access, compliance with Government Paperwork Elimination Act, end-user satisfaction, and information technology security. The agency must support the Enterprise Architecture with a complete inventory of agency information resources, including personnel, equipment, and funds devoted to information resources management and information technology, at an appropriate level of detail. Agencies must implement the Enterprise Architecture consistent with the following principles: (i) Develop information systems that facilitate interoperability, application portability, and scalability of electronic applications across networks of heterogeneous hardware, software, and telecommunications platforms; (ii) Meet information technology needs through cost effective intra-agency and interagency sharing, before acquiring new information technology resources; and (iii) Establish a level of security for all information systems that is commensurate to the risk and magnitude of the harm resulting from the loss, misuse, unauthorized access to, or modification of the information stored or flowing through these systems. 1 Office of Management and Budget, OMB Circular No. A-130, November 30, 2000. http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars/a130/a130trans4.html v
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  8. 8. Executive Summary2 This document presents the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Enterprise Architecture strategy that was developed and unanimously approved by the VA Enterprise Architecture Innovation Team. Established by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, this team, made up of VA senior management business line and information technology professionals, identified and adopted the Zachman Enterprise Architecture framework to organize VA's Enterprise Architecture, and decided how that architecture will be governed and implemented. The strategy provides for a governance system based on decentralized implementation of information technology and centralized management of Enterprise Architecture in an atmosphere of collaboration, accountability, and oversight. The Enterprise Architecture Innovation Team crafted the VA Enterprise Architecture mission in May 2001 and, over the course of the next 60 days, worked together through many intense long weekend sessions to develop a VA Enterprise Architecture strategy that will be sustainable over time. Guided by the strategic objectives of VA, this strategy is consistent with the legal requirements of the Clinger-Cohen Act and OMB A-130. The mission statement is as follows: “The mission of VA’s Enterprise Architecture is to develop and implement an evolutionary, high-performance One-VA information technology architecture aligned with our program/business goals that enables enterprise-wide data integration. VA’s Enterprise Architecture will enable us to provide an accessible source of consistent, reliable, accurate, useful, and secure information and knowledge to veterans and their families, our workforce, and stakeholders to support effective delivery of services and benefits, enabling effective decision-making and understanding of our capabilities and accomplishments. The Enterprise Architecture will support VA’s overall strategic goals.” This document is strategic. It provides general guidelines on what needs to be done, who will do it, and when it will be completed. As examples, and for additional guidance, incorporated, by reference and in the appendices, are some tactical and operational details including a preliminary listing of implementation action items and a timetable. It contains sufficient detail to demonstrate that VA can and will, implement and use Enterprise Architecture in a manner that has utility and will be institutionalized as the new way in which information assets are developed and managed in VA. This Enterprise Architecture strategy is an important reference for VA enterprise architects, executives, program/business managers, and information technology managers and workers. Many of VA’s 200,000+ staff will refer to this strategy to better understand technology planning and implementation. It represents a new beginning. 2 An annotated version of this Executive Summary is contained in Appendix D: Executive Summary [Annotated] beginning on page 57 of this document. vii
  9. 9. VA’s Enterprise Architecture is the “blueprint” for systematically and completely defining and documenting the organization’s current (baseline) and desired (target) environment, and includes a sequencing plan for transitioning from the baseline environment to the target environment. VA’s Enterprise Architecture strategy is essential for evolving its information systems and developing new systems with optimized mission value. This is accomplished in program/business terms (e.g., mission, objectives, goals, program/business functions, and information flows) and technical terms (e.g., software, hardware, date, communications, and system environments). VA’s Enterprise Architecture builds on the interdependencies and interrelationships within VA's program/business operations facilitating the development of information technologies supporting those operations. Both the Office of Management and Budget and the General Accounting Office report that without a complete and enforced Enterprise Architecture, Federal agencies run the risk of buying and building systems that are duplicative, incompatible, and unnecessarily costly to maintain and interface. Using a disciplined and rigorous approach, this strategy guides VA in defining, implementing, using, and maintaining its Enterprise Architecture. It describes major Enterprise Architecture governance and program management areas, including organizational structure and management controls, a process for the development of a baseline and target architecture and the development of a sequencing plan. It also describes Enterprise Architecture maintenance and implementation, as well as oversight, control, evaluation, assessment, resource allocation, and project management. It is organized into five main chapters, a brief description of which follows: • The Foundation of VA’s Enterprise Architecture – This chapter addresses the missions of VA and its Enterprise Architecture, as well as the goals and objectives, guiding principles and legislation, uses and benefits, strengths, issues, challenges, opportunities, and the need and audience for an Enterprise Architecture in VA. • Enterprise Architecture Governance in VA – This chapter explains the governance process for developing and maintaining VA’s Enterprise Architecture, and how Enterprise Architecture compliance is integrated with VA’s governance processes. This chapter provides direction on who has responsibility and authority to develop and maintain VA's Enterprise Architecture, and how Enterprise Architecture compliance is integrated into VA's overall information technology investment review and project approval processes. It also includes consideration for security, improved project management, and the sociological aspects of managing change. • VA’s Enterprise Architecture Framework Selection & Use – This chapter describes the Zachman Framework which was chosen to organize VA’s Enterprise Architecture. It discusses how an architecture is used, its viii
  10. 10. scope and depth; and the selection criteria used by VA’s Enterprise Architecture Innovation Team. • Development & Deployment of VA’s Enterprise Architecture – This chapter provides a high-level overview of VA’s development and implementation of an Enterprise Architecture “blueprint” using the Zachman Framework. Outlining the essential elements, this chapter provides guidance concerning definition and development, organizational structure and management controls, processes for development and maintenance of baseline and target architectures, and of a sequencing plan for evolving information technologies in order to optimize their mission value. • Evaluation, Evolution, & Evergreening of VA’s Enterprise Architecture – This chapter describes the methods and processes used to evaluate the effectiveness of VA’s Enterprise Architecture. The efficacy and value of the Department’s Enterprise Architecture must be constantly assessed. ix
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  12. 12. Table of Contents Secretary’s Vision for Enterprise Architecture ...............................................................i What is Enterprise Architecture? – OMB A-130 Definition .........................................v Executive Summary .........................................................................................................vii Table of Contents ..............................................................................................................xi List of Figures..................................................................................................................xiii List of Tables ...................................................................................................................xiii 1.0 The Foundation of VA’s Enterprise Architecture ..............................................1 1.1 Introduction..........................................................................................................1 1.2 VA Mission, Vision, and Goals ...........................................................................2 1.3 VA Enterprise Architecture Mission, Goals, and Objectives ..............................2 1.4 VA Enterprise Architecture Strategic Strengths, Issues, Challenges, and Opportunities........................................................................................................4 1.5 VA’s Enterprise Architecture Guiding Principles ...............................................6 1.6 Enterprise Architecture Legislation and Guidance ..............................................8 1.7 The Need for a VA Enterprise Architecture ......................................................10 1.8 The Audience for this Guide ..............................................................................11 2.0 Enterprise Architecture Governance in VA ......................................................13 2.1 Introduction........................................................................................................13 2.2 Applicability.......................................................................................................13 2.3 Overview of VA Governance and Enterprise Architecture Governance ...........13 2.4 Roles and Responsibilities of VA’s Chief Enterprise Architect........................17 2.5 Integrating VA’s Enterprise Architecture with VA's Information Technology Investment and Project Approval Processes ......................................................18 2.6 Developing Policy for VA’s Enterprise Architecture ........................................19 3.0 Enterprise Architecture Framework Selection & Use .....................................21 3.1 Introduction........................................................................................................21 3.2 Basic Concepts ...................................................................................................21 3.3 Enterprise Architecture Framework Criteria ......................................................22 3.4 Enterprise Architecture Framework Choice: The Zachman Framework for VA’s Enterprise Architecture.............................................................................23 3.5 Framework Products of Special Note ................................................................25 4.0 Development & Deployment of VA’s Enterprise Architecture .......................27 4.1 Introduction........................................................................................................27 4.2 Developing the VA Enterprise Architecture ......................................................27 4.3 Designing, Developing, and Maintaining VA’s Enterprise Architecture Information Repository......................................................................................29 4.4 Incorporating and Maintaining VA’s Technical Reference Model and Standards Profile.................................................................................................................30 xi
  13. 13. 4.5 Establishing, Updating, and Realizing VA's Target Architecture .....................32 5.0 Evaluation, Evolution, & Evergreening of VA’s Enterprise Architecture .....35 5.1 Introduction........................................................................................................35 5.2 Evaluation and Assessment Process Responsibilities ........................................35 5.3 Integrated Evaluation and Assessment Process .................................................36 5.4 VA’s Enterprise Architecture Evolution and Evergreening ..............................41 Appendix A: Readings and References.........................................................................45 Appendix B: Preliminary Project Timeline ..................................................................51 Appendix C: Credits .......................................................................................................53 Appendix D: Executive Summary [Annotated] ...........................................................57 Appendix E: OMB A-130 Analysis................................................................................61 xii
  14. 14. List of Figures Figure 1. VA’s Governance Framework (i.e., Structures and Processes)........................ 14 Figure 2. VA's Enterprise Architecture Governance Structure........................................ 16 Figure 3. VA’s Architecture Alignment and Assessment Process .................................. 19 Figure 4. Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture............................................ 23 Figure 5. VA’s Information Technology Capital Planning Phases.................................. 36 Figure 6. VA’s Information Technology Initiative Assessment Process................... 37 Figure 7. VA’s Monitoring In-Development Projects (Execute/Control Phase)............ 39 Figure 8. VA's Assessment of Completed Projects (Evaluate Phase) ............................. 40 Figure 9. VA’s Enterprise Architecture Evaluation, Evolution, and Evergreening Process ......................................................................................................................... 41 Figure 10. Preliminary Project Timeline .......................................................................... 51 List of Tables Table 1. Program Assessment Criteria ............................................................................. 38 Table 2. Credits................................................................................................................ 53 Table 3. OMB A-130 Analysis ........................................................................................ 61 xiii
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  16. 16. 1.0 The Foundation of VA’s Enterprise Architecture 1.1 Introduction On Wednesday, April 4, 2001, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs appeared before the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight and promised to reform the way VA does information technology. He pledged to define an Enterprise Architecture that will end the practice of ‘stove-pipe” systems design, incompatible systems development, and the collection of data that does not yield useful information. He committed to deliver this plan to the Congress in a matter of months. On April 26, 2001 the Secretary established the VA Enterprise Architecture Innovation Team to deliver on these very aggressive promises. The team, made up of 21 VA senior management business line and information technology professionals, over the course of about 60 days beginning on May 10, including many intensive long weekends, developed and unanimously approved a VA Enterprise Architecture strategy that will be sustainable over time. Guided by the strategic objectives of VA, this strategy is consistent with the legal requirements of the Clinger-Cohen Act and the Office of Management and Budget Circular number A-130. This document is VA’s guide for defining, implementing, and maintaining its Enterprise Architecture to support program/business processes in a disciplined and rigorous manner. It prescribes guiding principles, selection and establishment of an organizing framework, outlines development and deployment actions, and institutionalizes the evolution and evergreening of the Enterprise Architecture. The guide is modeled after A Practical Guide to Federal Enterprise Architecture, Version 1.0, Chief Information Office Council, February 2001. It is based on the General Accounting Office’s information technology investment management framework3 that was developed to provide a common structure for discussing and assessing information technology capital planning and investment control practices at Federal agencies. VA’s Enterprise Architecture is essential for achieving the Department’s mission through optimal performance of core program/business processes operating within an efficient information technology environment. It is the Department’s “blueprint” for systematically and completely defining and documenting the organization’s current (baseline) and desired (target) environment. VA will accomplish this in logical or program/business terms (e.g., mission, program/business functions, and information flows) and technical terms (e.g., software, hardware, communications, and systems environments). This includes a sequencing plan for transitioning from the baseline environment to the target environment. 3 Information Technology Investment Management: A Framework for Assessing and Improving Process Maturity (GAO/AIMD-10.1.23, Exposure Draft, 2000). 1
  17. 17. 1.2 VA Mission, Vision, and Goals “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan.” These words, spoken by Abraham Lincoln during his Second Inaugural Address, reflect the philosophy and principles that guide VA in everything we do, and are the focus of our endeavors to serve our Nation’s veterans and their families. This is VA’s mission. VA's vision for the future is: As the Department heads into the 21st century, we will strive to meet the needs of the Nation’s veterans and their families today and tomorrow. We will become an even more veteran-focused organization, functioning as a single, comprehensive provider of seamless service to the men and women who have served our Nation. We will continuously benchmark the quality and delivery of our service with the best in business and use innovative means and high technology to deliver world-class service. We will foster partnerships with veterans organizations and other stakeholders making them part of the decision-making process. We will cultivate a dedicated VA workforce of highly skilled employees who understand, believe in, and take pride in our vitally important mission. To implement this mission and vision, VA has established the following strategic goals: • Restore the capability of disabled veterans to the greatest extent possible and improve the quality of their lives and that of their families. • Ensure a smooth transition for veterans from active military service to civilian life. • Honor and serve veterans in life and memorialize them in death for their sacrifices on behalf of the Nation. • Contribute to the public health, socioeconomic well being, and history of the Nation. • Create an environment fostering the delivery of One VA world-class service to veterans and their families through effective communication and management of people, technology, program/business processes, and financial resources. 1.3 VA Enterprise Architecture Mission, Goals, and Objectives The mission of VA’s Enterprise Architecture is to develop and implement an evolutionary, high-performance One VA information technology architecture aligned with VA program/business goals that enables enterprise-wide data integration. VA’s Enterprise Architecture will enable the Department to provide an accessible source of consistent, reliable, accurate, useful, and secure information and knowledge to veterans and their families, our workforce, and stakeholders to 2
  18. 18. support effective delivery of services and benefits, enabling effective decision- making and understanding of our capabilities and accomplishments. The Enterprise Architecture will support VA’s strategic goals. The goals and objectives of VA’s Enterprise Architecture are to ensure that: • Veterans will feel that we know who they are, we will answer their questions about their issues, we will effectively provide end-to-end services without frustrating them, they will have access to our systems for their own needs, and they will believe that VA staff and systems are here to serve and honor them. - Self-service by Internet and phone will be available to veterans, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. - Applications for benefits will be able to be submitted by veterans through the Internet. - Telephone service and information centers will be enhanced to enable easy access to information and services. - Kiosks will be installed to provide access to information about benefits and services. • VA will implement a One VA information framework supporting cost- effective data integration and information sharing across program/business lines to provide a “single” source of consistent, reliable, accurate, timely, and secure information to veterans and their families, employees, and other stakeholders. - Veterans will never have to register with VA more than once. - Veteran information will be available anywhere, anytime, to any authorized user in real time. - Telemedicine use will be enhanced to improve timeliness and quality of care for veterans and maximize remote provider consultation. - Enterprise Architecture will foster the organization and presentation of all relevant patient data in a way that directly supports clinical decision-making and program analysis. Timely access to clinical information by VA staff from multiple sites of care is paramount to ensure prompt service, continuity, and quality care. - Common and core data will be shared by VA’s operating elements, ensuring accessibility and avoiding redundancy. - Sharing and use of information with VA’s external partners will be enhanced. The partners include: the Social Security Administration; the Department of Defense; Health and Human Services; and other federal, state, and local governments; educational institutions; lending institutions; and other program/businesses. 3
  19. 19. • VA information systems will be high-performance systems that meet or exceed exemplary standards in businesses and government agencies. - Information systems characteristics will be adaptable, scalable, extensible, standards-based, open systems, maintainable, reliable, secure, component-based, common services oriented, best appropriate technology, veteran-connected, and principle-based. - The “gold standard” will be established for information related to veteran care and an “information supply chain” that clearly articulates ownership. 1.4 VA Enterprise Architecture Strategic Strengths, Issues, Challenges, and Opportunities The VA Enterprise Architecture will change the way the Department manages its information technology resources. VA will draw upon its strategic strengths and take advantage of the new opportunities that will be possible through the implementation of this new way of doing business. The successful implementation of Enterprise Architecture is not without risk. VA is committed to addressing these challenges and working to influence, to the maximum extent possible, those strategic issues that are not within its immediate control. Key strategic strengths, opportunities, challenges, and issues include: • Strengths - The Commitment and dedication of the VA Enterprise Architecture Innovation Team to develop VA’s Enterprise Architecture. - Absolute top-level commitment to Enterprise Architecture by the Secretary and understanding leaders. - A Collaborative Enterprise Architecture governance process. - A Highly committed employees to VA mission to serve veterans. - The VA Enterprise Architecture was developed in true One VA approach and the One VA approach provides the foundation and accountability for all new information technology projects. • Issues - The Information Age is happening, VA must adapt. - The Complexity will increase by orders of magnitude. - Our stakeholders must accept VA’s Enterprise Architecture approach and support its implementation. The Administration and Congress must provide adequate resources for the planning and implementation of VA’s Enterprise Architecture. 4
  20. 20. • Challenges - Funding for VA’s Enterprise Architecture (overall VA and program/business requirements) must be sufficient, and funding issues must be handled fairly. - Ensuring VA has a strong, skilled, highly trained, and motivated staff (including the Chief Enterprise Architect) to plan and implement VA’s Enterprise Architecture across the Department, and the ability to contract for high quality support. - Obtaining internal stakeholder acceptance of VA’s Enterprise Architecture and the organizational changes that it entails through effective marketing and communications to all levels. - Developing a balanced set of measures to assess the value and performance of VA’s Enterprise Architecture. - Continuing to work collaboratively ensuring implementation of the VA Enterprise Architecture. - Adhering to the VA Enterprise Architecture Innovation Team’s intention to fulfill the promise of a One VA Enterprise Architecture preventing “stove pipe” recidivism, and overall loss of momentum. - Developing models and tools for VA’s Enterprise Architecture and completing the engineering before the manufacturing of the VA Enterprise Architecture. - Migrating the existing legacy systems into the new VA Enterprise Architecture environment. - Reducing total cost of ownership while improving service. - Ensuring meaningful and timely review of VA’s Enterprise Architecture and project implementation. • Opportunities - Increase in funding for information technology initiatives from Congress because of an aligned VA Enterprise Architecture. - Greatly improve the alignment of information technology and VA’s programs/businesses, positive changes to VA program/business processes, and building security into VA’s Enterprise Architecture from the outset. - Enhance employee morale and performance. - Lead the Federal Government in making Enterprise Architecture work for a large enterprise. - Reduce total cost of information technology ownership and improve veteran’s service simultaneously. 5
  21. 21. - Demonstrate to veterans that VA is doing all that is possible to enhance its provision of comprehensive, high quality, and seamless service to veterans and their families. It is also recommended that a Project Management Office be established in the Office of the Chief Information Officer. The Project Management Office will provide a consistent Departmental approach for project and risk management and serve as a source of expertise to program/business unit project teams, facilitate project risk management, evaluation, and contingency planning for people, program/business, and technology risks for the portfolio of information technology projects in VA. The Project Management Office will provide tools, training, and consulting advice to help ensure that appropriate project management tools, processes, and best practices are used for project planning and management, as well as, publishing project metric and status reporting on a consistent basis for all projects within VA. The Project Management Office will also provide oversight and early warning of changes or slippages in project schedule, functionality, or deliverables that will impact other projects including those in VA’s Enterprise Architecture sequencing plan. 1.5 VA’s Enterprise Architecture Guiding Principles VA’ Enterprise Architecture principles represent fundamental requirements and practices believed to be good for the organization. These principles will be refined to meet Departmental program/business needs. The VA recognizes that Departmental program/business needs cannot be effectively defined merely by Chief Information Officers and other executives. The “problem” and much of the “solution” must come from managers in terms of program/business process, and people “on the front lines” in terms of functional requirements. It is possible to map specific actions, such as Enterprise Architecture design and development, systems acquisitions, and implementation, to these architectural principles. Deliberate and explicit standards-oriented policies and guidelines for VA’s Enterprise Architecture development and implementation will be generated in compliance with the principles. Each (and every) phase of the systems life cycle is supported by the actions necessitated by these architecture principles. Capital planning and investment control actions will be governed by the implications of these principles. The following are VA’s Enterprise Architecture guiding principles: • VA’s Enterprise Architecture and systems will be veteran-focused, and adhere to the maximum value principal, which states that information management decisions provide maximum performance and value to the enterprise, and the veterans it serves. 6
  22. 22. • VA’s Enterprise Architecture and systems will be designed to adapt to changing program/business needs. • System changes, integration, and new initiatives will be completed by the earliest feasible date. • Data is a corporate asset will be shared with all who have a need and authorization to know. • VA’s Enterprise Architecture will comply with the law as expressed in legislative mandates such as Individuals with Disabilities Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, executive orders, Federal Regulations, and other Federal guidelines. • Security will be designed into all architecture layers (applications, data, network, systems) balancing the need for data protection with the need for accessibility and ease of use; security architecture will be simple and integrated, ensure privacy, authenticate users, and prevent unwarranted access. • Systems will be non-redundant and cost-effective. • VA’s Enterprise Architecture will be collaboratively governed. • Data, technology, and vocabulary will be standardized. • Workforce acceptance, alignment, and capabilities concerning VA’s Enterprise Architecture initiatives will be monitored and appropriate changes recommended to social and cultural processes to promote the architecture’s sustainability and renewal. More specifically, VA’s Enterprise Architecture will have the following attributes: • Support VA Information Technology Strategic Plan that in turn supports the overall VA Strategic Plan (current version is for FY 2001 – 2006). • Provide for maximal program/business-technical alignment by being part of an approval process for information system projects that flows from the respective program/business/information owners through the information technology governance process to the Strategic Management Council as described in Chapter 2: Enterprise Architecture Governance in VA. • Support the One VA vision of information technology enhanced customer service, including customer service, customer self-service, internal data sharing and exchange, external data sharing and exchange (federal and non-federal government), customer outreach and feedback, and a mechanism for sharing services. • Promote “just in time” service to veterans, their families, employees, and external stakeholders. 7
  23. 23. • Reduce redundancy of information technology systems and data, seek commonality across program/business lines, and promote interoperability across VA’s enterprise. • Adhere to vendor neutral, open systems principles and practices, and common services. • Provide metrics to evaluate success of Enterprise Architecture and information technology initiatives. • Ensure maintainability, reduce complexity, and increase quality of information technology systems. • Ensure communications are compatible, interoperable, and cost-effective from communications point (node) to communications point to successfully send and receive messages between enterprise components. • Ensure program/business rules are enforced consistently from system/application to system/application to coordinate and/or change behavior within the enterprise. • Ensure that program/business and information technology requirements use commercial off-the-shelf technology rather than customized or in- house solutions unless otherwise justified. Such decisions must be based on total lifecycle costs and total cost of ownership. • Exploit the communications vehicle of the Internet to the maximum extent possible, making systems web-enabled, accessible, and connected. • Standardize end-user application interfaces so that navigation among applications is similar, reducing training costs. • Provide for a complete repository (actual or virtual) of veterans’ and active service members’ data (e.g. basic eligibility, demographic and military history) that will be the authoritative source of data accessed by all VA employees and systems that have the need and authorized use for that data. 1.6 Enterprise Architecture Legislation and Guidance The Office of Management and Budget and General Accounting Office assert that without a complete and enforced Enterprise Architecture, federal agencies run the risk of buying and building systems that are duplicative, incompatible, and unnecessarily costly to maintain and interconnect. Congress requires Federal agency Chief Information Officers to develop and maintain an integrated Enterprise Architecture with the passage of the Clinger- Cohen Act4 in 1996. Office of Management and Budget guidance p rovides for the 4 Public Law 104-106, section 5125, 110 Stat. 684 (1996). 8
  24. 24. content of Agency Enterprise Architectures.5 Similarly, the Chief Information Officer Council, the Department of the Treasury, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the General Accounting Office have developed architecture frameworks or models that define the content of Enterprise Architectures.6 The Clinger-Cohen Act holds VA’s Chief Information Officer responsible for developing, maintaining, and facilitating the implementation of a Department- wide Enterprise Architecture. Additionally, within the Federal government there are numerous rules, regulations, and guidelines that govern the development and execution of information technology policy in order to better manage strategic plans, enhance information technology acquisition practices, justify information technology expenditures, measure information technology performance, report results to Congress, integrate new technologies, and manage information resources including: Executive Order 13011, Federal Information Technology, established the Federal Chief Information Officer Council as the principal interagency forum for improving practices in the design, modernization, employment, sharing, and performance of Agency information resources. Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework (FEAF), dated September 1999 — issued by the Federal Chief Information Officer Council. The FEAF provides guidance for developing, maintaining, and facilitating Enterprise Architectures in the Federal government. The Chief Information Officer Council began developing the Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework in April 1998 in accordance with the priorities enunciated in Clinger-Cohen and issued it in 1999. A Practical Guide to Federal Enterprise Architecture, dated February 2001 — issued by the Federal Chief Information Officer Council. This guide is intended primarily for Federal Agency architects tasked with the generation and institutionalization of Enterprise Architectures. VA’s Enterprise Architecture is based largely on the information provided in this document. Architecture Alignment and Assessment Guide, produced for the Federal Chief Information Officer Council's Federal Architecture Working Group (FAWG), dated October 2000. Sections 1 through 3 describe information technology reform and its evolution. The guide highlights the Office of Management and Budget guidance directed to the Federal community, which extended information technology reform beyond the Clinger-Cohen Act. 5 OMB Circular A-130, Management of Federal Information Resources, November 30, 2000. 6 Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework, Version 1.1, Federal Chief Information Officers Council, September 1999; Treasury Enterprise Architecture Framework, Version 1, the Department of the Treasury, July 3, 2000; the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Enterprise Architectural Model, referenced in NIST Special Publication 500-167, Information Management Directions: the Integration Challenge; and Strategic Information Planning: Framework for Designing and Developing System Architectures (GAO/IMTEC-92-51, June 1992). 9
  25. 25. Smart Practices in Capital Planning, produced by the FAWG and the Capital Planning and Information Technology Management Committee, dated October 2000. The Office of Management and Budget Circular number A-130 has an explicit description and documentation of the organization’s current architecture, target architecture, and sequencing plan, and addresses interoperability, portability, scalability, cost-effective inter-agency and intra-agency sharing, and security. Together with the General Accounting Office and the Office of Management and Budget guidance, these documents provide guidance on the interaction and integration of the capital planning and investment control and Enterprise Architecture processes. Collectively, these documents describe the capital planning and investment control and Enterprise Architecture processes working as a governance mechanism to ensure successful organizational change and information technology investments to support that change. Additional sources of mandates, drivers, and guidance for VA’s Enterprise Architecture include: • Government Paperwork Elimination Act. • Freedom of Information Act and Amendments. • Government Performance Results Act of 1993. • Office of Management and Budget Circular A–11. • General Accounting Office guidance, findings, and recommendations. • Federal Chief Information Officer Council documents. • Various sections of Title 40 and Title 44 US Code. 1.7 The Need for a VA Enterprise Architecture The primary purpose of an Enterprise Architecture is to inform, guide, and manage the decisions for the enterprise, especially those related to information technology investments. The true challenge of enterprise engineering is to maintain the architecture as a primary authoritative resource for enterprise information technology planning and implementation. This goal is not met via enforced policy alone, but by the value and utility of the information provided by the Enterprise Architecture. While various frameworks and models provide valuable guidance on the content of Enterprise Architectures, there is almost no Federal guidance on how to successfully manage the process of creating, changing, and using the Enterprise Architecture other than A Practical Guide to Federal Enterprise Architecture issued by the Federal Chief Information Officer Council. VA specific guidance is critically important for optimizing the program/business value and mission performance of the Department’s systems. Effective development of a complete Enterprise Architecture requires Department-wide 10
  26. 26. commitment with senior leadership sponsorship that is managed by an organizational entity held accountable for success. Effective Enterprise Architecture implementation requires establishment of architectural requirements for new and existing information technology systems and continuous assessment and enforcement of compliance. Enterprise Architecture governance and management processes incorporate both compliance and participation throughout the organization in order to promote ownership, utility, and sustainability. Without these commitments, responsibilities, and tools, the risk is great that new systems will not meet program/business needs, will be incompatible, will perform poorly, and will cost more to develop, integrate, and maintain than is warranted. Therefore, waivers of these requirements, if any, may occur only after careful, thorough, and documented analysis. 1.8 The Audience for this Guide This guide is a primary source of information for VA enterprise architects tasked with the generation and institutionalization of VA's Enterprise Architecture. It will also serve those participating in, and affected by, VA’s Enterprise Architecture. This guide and VA’s Enterprise Architecture are important references for VA executives, program/business unit managers, and information technology managers who manage technology and technology investments. It is also aimed at capital planning and investment control process participants (e.g., investment review boards, Office of Management and Budget), as well as VA enterprise engineering and program management process participants (e.g., program/project managers, systems engineers, application architects, systems developers, configuration managers, risk managers, social process managers, and security engineers). Many of VA’s 200,000+ staff members will reference the VA Enterprise Architecture and this guide to better understand technology planning so they may better serve the veteran. This document provides guidance and instructions for developing an Enterprise Architecture allowing VA to benefit from improvements in development and maintenance activities. It provides guidance to executive management and Chief Information Officers for educating and obtaining key stakeholder commitment in establishing and using the VA Enterprise Architecture effectively. See Appendix A: Readings and References for a listing of references, suggested readings, and other information used in creating this document. 11
  27. 27. 12
  28. 28. 2.0 Enterprise Architecture Governance in VA 2.1 Introduction This chapter presents an overview of the structures (i.e., organization) and processes (i.e., activities) of overall VA governance, describes the structure and processes of VA’s Enterprise Architecture governance and how it fits into overall VA governance. The roles and responsibilities of VA’s Chief Enterprise Architect are described as w as how VA’s Enterprise Architecture processes are ell integrated with VA's information technology investment and project approval processes. 2.2 Applicability All VA systems will be included within the Department’s Enterprise Architecture. VA will develop, follow, and enforce policies and procedures that define and maintain its Enterprise Architecture. VA’s Enterprise Architecture governance organization and processes will mature over time and various levels of detail are expected for different categories of systems. Systems will be engineered to a degree and timetable to be specified by the governance process according to categories such as: • infrastructure and networks, • legacy applications, • in-process applications, • new initiatives, • ad hoc/demand systems required for special/specific short-term needs, and • stand-alone applications. All systems will be reported. The scope, impact and demands on infrastructure, cost, data sharing, interoperability, and interface criteria within and outside VA will also determine the required level of detail to be reported. 2.3 Overview of VA Governance and Enterprise Architecture Governance In May 2001, the Secretary approved the establishment of a new VA governance framework. The purpose of this framework is to establish the structure, process, and procedures for the development of recommendations for the Secretary regarding policy, planning, and management of issues. This framework establishes a process for reviewing the implementation of new initiatives and program performance in key areas. It also establishes two new forums (also called “fora”). The first is VA’s Executive Board, chaired by the Secretary. The second forum is the Strategic Management Council, chaired by the Deputy Secretary. The Council has broader membership and is responsible for reviewing 13
  29. 29. all major policy and management issues, assessing options, and making recommendations to the Secretary through VA’s Executive Board. As Chair of VA’s Executive Board, the Secretary reviews and approves VA’s Enterprise Architecture, the membership of the Information Technology Board, and policies, plans, and new initiatives associated with the Enterprise Architecture. The composition, roles and responsibilities, and objectives of the Information Technology Board, which is the information technology initiative review board for the Department, is discussed later on in this chapter. Full participation of VA’s program/business and information technology communities is essential for VA's Enterprise Architecture to be successful. The governance process ensures that the Enterprise Architecture is kept current and becomes part of VA's overall decision-making processes. To contribute effectively to VA’s mission and strategic goals, and improve the delivery of benefits, services, and information to the veteran, the governance of VA's Enterprise Architecture must flow from VA’s corporate governance and be aligned with it. The VA Strategic Plan must drive VA’s Enterprise Architecture and the Enterprise Architecture must define the supporting information systems required to achieve that plan. Therefore, VA will ensure Enterprise Architecture compliance by developing and implementing effective governance processes and procedures for VA's Enterprise Architecture. Secretary VA Executive Board Strategic Management Council Strategic Budget Planning and Policy Formulation Formulation Process Process IT Planning and Capital Asset Workforce Legislative Implementation Planning and Investment Planning Development Process Process Process Process (See Figure 2) Figure 1. VA’s Governance Framework (i.e., Structures and Processes) 14
  30. 30. Figure 1 summarizes the organizational structure of overall VA governance and the processes that support it. The Enterprise Architecture governance processes are part of VA's governance processes for information technology and, as such, are incorporated within the existing VA governance framework as indicated by the highlighted box in Figure 1. The processes and structures of VA Enterprise Architecture governance are designed to leverage overall VA governance processes and structures. VA’s Enterprise Architecture governance consists of a collaborative structure that includes full participation by VA’s program/business and information technology communities. This degree of participation from both VA program/business and VA information technology communities is critical to the successful implementation, maintenance, and long-term relevance of information technologies and Enterprise Architecture in VA. 2.3.1 VA’s Information Technology Planning Process The core of VA Enterprise Architecture governance is the information technology planning process established by the Secretary. The information technology planning process is responsible for aligning information technology with the program/business needs and strategic goals of VA. The information technology planning process strives for a total collaboration of program/business with information technology, and consists of the following four functions or processes: • Enterprise Architecture • Capital Investment • Security Certification and Accreditation • Project Management The information technology planning process supports the review of information technology investment proposals for compliance with VA’s Enterprise Architecture. The Information Technology Board oversees this process. The Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology (who is also VA's Chief Information Officer), as the process owner of the information technology planning process, is the steward responsible and accountable for creating, leveraging, coordinating, and implementing VA's Enterprise Architecture. The Information Technology Board is composed of VA’s Chief Information Officers and senior program/business executives from each administration and staff office. As shown in Figure 2, this board is accountable to VA’s Strategic Management Council and ultimately to the VA Executive Board chaired by the Secretary. Administration-specific committees that report to their Under Secretaries also link into the Information Technology Board and thereby participate in VA's technology governance processes. The objectives and responsibilities of the Information Technology Board are as follows: 15
  31. 31. Objectives: • Ensure the VA Enterprise Architecture alignment and integration between information technology and program/business goals and processes. • Ensure adequate funding and commitment to initiatives and the enterprise information technology infrastructures. Responsibilities include: • Developing and recommending to the Strategic Management Council the direction for VA’s Enterprise Architecture. • Establishing and communicating the executive direction for the use of information technology. • Ensuring the interests of program/business and information technology representatives from all major VA entities are considered in VA’s Enterprise Architecture. • Ensuring a viable integrated VA Enterprise Architecture is in place covering a rolling multi-year period. • Ensuring that the Enterprise Architecture is current and provides complete and accurate descriptions of the baseline environment, the target vision, and the sequencing plan to take VA from the baseline (sometimes called “as-is”) to the target (sometimes called “to-be”) environments. • Ensuring the suitability and consistency of technology investments with VA’s Enterprise Architecture and strategic objectives. • Ensuring that the information technology planning process addresses sociological change management, security, project management, and capital investment as well as VA Enterprise Architecture concerns. VA Executive Board Strategic Management Council Information Technology Board EA Architecture Council Figure 2. VA's Enterprise Architecture Governance Structure 16
  32. 32. 2.3.2 Overall VA Enterprise Architecture Governance The purpose of Enterprise Architecture governance is to manage, control, and monitor Enterprise Architecture activities and progress. Figure 2 illustrates the structure of VA's Enterprise Architecture governance. This organization structure, its processes and procedures, and its roles and responsibilities, facilitate and advance the performance of VA’s Enterprise Architecture. The role of the Enterprise Architecture Council is to oversee and guide Enterprise Architecture issues for the Department, and continuously develop and refine VA’s Enterprise Architecture to meet changing veteran needs, strategic goals, and the incorporation of new technologies. This Council is composed of the Chief Enterprise Architects in the administrations and staff offices and reports to VA’s Information Technology Board for information technology planning process purposes. The Enterprise Architecture Council responsibilities include three processes: the Enterprise Architecture executive steering process, Enterprise Architecture business management process; and the Enterprise Architecture compliance education and enforcement process. The Chief Enterprise Architect is the process owner. 2.4 Roles and Responsibilities of VA’s Chief Enterprise Architect VA’s Enterprise Architecture is a formal program initiated and endorsed by the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. As such, the program warrants a formal management structure, within the Office of VA’s Chief Information Officer, consisting of information technology experts, program/business experts, and technologists. The major component of this management structure is the Office of Chief Enterprise Architect led by VA's Chief Enterprise Architect. The Chief Enterprise Architect provides management and support of the Enterprise Architecture and reviews proposed projects for Enterprise Architecture compliance. The term “compliance” when applied to VA’s Enterprise Architecture is not binary but represents different degrees of alignment to VA’s Enterprise Architecture in terms of program/business objectives and technical standards. VA's Chief Enterprise Architect reports to VA’s Chief Information Officer. The Chief Enterprise Architect is responsible for leading the development of VA’s Enterprise Architecture and ensuring the integrity of the architectural development processes and the content of the Enterprise Architecture products. The Chief Enterprise Architect is the ombudsman to the information technology and program/business line units, and ensures that program/business unit processes are emphasized in the Enterprise Architecture. The Chief Enterprise Architect is also responsible for ensuring that the Enterprise Architecture provides the best possible information and guidance to information technology projects and stakeholders, and that systems development efforts are properly aligned with program/business unit requirements. 17
  33. 33. VA's Chief Enterprise Architect is also the manager of VA’s Enterprise Architecture. In this role, the Chief Enterprise Architect has management responsibility for the Enterprise Architecture program, with the authority, responsibility, and accountability for the overall Enterprise Architecture effort. In this regard, the Chief Enterprise Architect is responsible for the planning, staffing, and the ultimate success of the Enterprise Architecture program, including acquisition of sustaining funding, negotiating schedules, and the timely and accurate delivery of the Enterprise Architecture products (or "artifacts"). The Chief Enterprise Architect, in collaboration with the Information Technology Board, or its designee, will periodically refine the schedule and enhance the requirements for more comprehensive reporting, and in collaboration with the system owners, define the category of the system and the expected impact on VA Enterprise Architecture. There will be a sequencing of systems into the VA Enterprise Architecture; the first being those that are considered mission-critical, followed concurrently by in-process, new, and legacy systems. The core competencies of the Chief Enterprise Architect include leadership skills, a comprehensive knowledge of Enterprise Architecture and requisite skills, and critical understanding of the role and relationship of information technology to supporting the programs/businesses of VA. The Chief Enterprise Architect must be an effective communicator who can bridge the cultural differences that often exist between the program/business and systems organizations, and among agencies, and facilitate interaction and cooperation. The Chief Enterprise Architect provides a high-level project management framework for VA’s Enterprise Architecture project portfolio; and facilitates the evaluation and management of project, people, program/business, and technology risks and contingency plans, for the portfolio of information technology projects in VA. The Chief Enterprise Architect also provides consulting advice to help ensure appropriate Enterprise Architect and project management tools, processes, and best practices will be used for project planning and management, and facilitates the collection and publishing of project metrics and status reporting on a consistent basis for all information technology projects within VA. The Chief Enterprise Architect is responsible for defining and managing the change management process, which includes changes to Enterprise Architecture products, processes, and technologies. VA's Chief Enterprise Architect also advises senior managers of the potential human impacts involved in VA’s Enterprise Architecture and information technology changes, including change planning, management, and communication processes in planning and implementing projects as defined in Enterprise Architecture sequencing plans. 2.5 Integrating VA’s Enterprise Architecture with VA's Information Technology Investment and Project Approval Processes Compliance with VA’s Enterprise Architecture is a critical success factor. As stated earlier, full participation from both VA program/business and information 18
  34. 34. technology communities is also an important factor to VA’s Enterprise Architecture implementation and long-term relevance. Linking VA’s Enterprise Architecture alignment review with VA’s investment process is necessary to achieve the full benefits of both the Enterprise Architecture and information technology investments. Investment proposals often reflect changes in the organization’s program/business functions as well as providing a window to technology advancements. This information is valuable as a feedback loop to VA’s Enterprise Architecture planning and development function because the architecture must be changed to reflect current program/business functions and advances in technology must be considered when updating the Enterprise Architecture. The integration of all three factors (i.e., program/business, technology, and investment) is illustrated in Figure 3, which shows that VA’s Enterprise Architecture process guides the Department’s investment process and the investment process yields information that guides changes to the Enterprise Architecture. This interaction results in Architecture Alignment and Assessment, thus VA’s Enterprise Architecture facilitates the integration and alignment of program/business, technology, and investment. Figure 3. VA’s Architecture Alignment and Assessment Process 2.6 Developing Policy for VA’s Enterprise Architecture VA's Chief Enterprise Architect will advise the Information Technology Board on VA’s Enterprise Architecture policy, process, and information technology; and develop policies for the type and level of architectural documentation required for legacy, in-process, infrastructure, new, and other categories of systems. These policies will address: 19
  35. 35. • Project investment approval process – describing the steps for obtaining approval and funding. • Relationship and integration of VA’s Enterprise Architecture process to the capital investment process. • Conducting in-process and post-implementation reviews. • Waivers procedures for specific projects. • Penalties for noncompliance to VA’s Enterprise Architecture and standards. • Workforce impacts of VA’s Enterprise Architecture and information technology project changes. • Project management considerations. 20
  36. 36. 3.0 Enterprise Architecture Framework Selection & Use 3.1 Introduction VA evaluated the available architectural frameworks and selected the Zachman Enterprise Architecture Framework to organize and structure VA’s Enterprise Architecture. This chapter describes that framework and the reasons it was chosen by VA’s Enterprise Architecture Innovation Team. The values, philosophies, and objectives for VA’s Enterprise Architecture as described in the Secretary’s vision and Chapter 1: The Foundation of VA’s Enterprise Architecture shaped this decision process. 3.2 Basic Concepts The Office of Management and Budget requires Federal Enterprise Architecture frameworks to document the linkages between the mission and goals of the organization, information, content, and information technology capabilities. Further, the framework must identify and document the: 1. program/business process, 2. information flow and relationships, 3. applications, 4. data descriptions and relationships, and 5. technology infrastructure. VA’s selection of the Zachman Framework ensures compliance with these Office of Management and Budget requirements. 3.2.1 Architecture Use The purpose of VA Enterprise Architecture is closely tied to the Department’s Strategic Plan, legislation such as Clinger-Cohen, and support of the capital investment process. Before an enterprise architect begins to describe an Enterprise Architecture, the organization determines the nature of the changes the architecture is intended to facilitate, the issue(s) the architecture is intended to explore, the questions the architecture is expected to help answer, and the interests and perspectives of the Enterprise Architecture audience and users. The purposes of VA’s Enterprise Architecture will evolve over time to meet new requirements. The Chief Enterprise Architect is responsible for ensuring that the evolution of VA’s Enterprise Architecture meets the newly determined requirements. This increases the efficiency of the architecture development process and creates greater balance and flexibility in the resulting architecture and the systems that it defines. 21
  37. 37. 3.2.2 Architecture Scope It is critically important that VA’s Enterprise Architecture development be approached in a top-down, incremental manner, consistent with the hierarchical architectural views that are the building blocks of proven Enterprise Architecture frameworks. In doing so, it is equally important that the scope of the higher-level program/business views of VA’s Enterprise Architecture span the entire Department. 3.2.3 Architecture Depth The greatest value is obtained from the implementation of an Enterprise Architecture when consistent, high levels of detail about all applications, processes, and infrastructures are captured. VA’s Chief Enterprise Architect in collaboration with the Enterprise Architecture Council and Information Technology Board will establish the appropriate levels of detail and timeframes for capturing applications, processes, infrastructure, and systems. 3.3 Enterprise Architecture Framework Criteria Frameworks include concepts that drive and organize the types of architectural products being created. The products, both graphical and textual descriptions, capture the information prescribed by the framework. Equivalent products may be substituted if the new product has similar or more extensive attributes than the original product. This is often done when specific methods (e.g., object-oriented analysis and design) lend themselves to particular modeling techniques. VA's Chief Enterprise Architect is responsible for the approval of specific types of Enterprise Architecture products and tools for the Department. VA used a variety of criteria in the selection of their Enterprise Architecture framework. Among the decisive factors were the requirements that a framework be: • understandable, • usable in the short term, • endure with long-term value, • complete and comprehensive, leading to improved service to veterans, • credible and able to meet federal requirements, • support a high-performance enterprise architecture, • capable of allowing strategic linkage of program/business goals to information technology, • accommodate clearly defined program/business rules, and • scalable, extensible, and flexible. 22
  38. 38. 3.4 Enterprise Architecture Framework Choice: The Zachman Framework for VA’s Enterprise Architecture Consideration was given to the currently popular frameworks used to construct Enterprise Architectures. Several frameworks available were found to be robust enough to support the complexity inherent in the Department of Veterans Affairs and given strong consideration. Of the frameworks considered, the Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture was the unanimous choice of the VA Enterprise Architecture Innovation Team. It was found to be the most advanced, best understood, easiest to use, most supported, most accepted, as well as offering the most granularity, completeness, and flexibility. The Zachman Framework is depicted in Figure 4. DATA What FUNCTION How NETWORK Where PEOPLE Who TIME When MOTIVATION Why List of Things Important List of Processes the List of Locations in which List of Organizations List of Events Significant List of Business Goals/Strat SCOPE SCOPE to the Business Business Performs the Business Operates Important to the Business to the Business (CONTEXTUAL) (CONTEXTUAL) Planner ENTITY = Class of Function = Class of Node = Major Business Ends/Means=Major Bus. Goal/ People = Major Organizations Time = Major Business Event Planner Business Thing Business Process Location Critical Success Factor e.g. Semantic Model e.g. Business Process Model e.g. Business Logistics e.g. Work Flow Model e.g. Master Schedule e.g. Business Plan ENTERPRISE ENTERPRISE System MODEL MODEL (CONCEPTUAL) (CONCEPTUAL) Owner Ent = Business Entity Proc. = Business Process Node = Business Location People = Organization Unit Time = Business Event End = Business Objective Owner Reln = Business Relationship I/O = Business Resources Link = Business Linkage Work = Work Product Cycle = Business Cycle Means = Business Strategy e.g. Logical Data Model e.g. Application Architecture e.g. Distributed System e.g. Human Interface e.g. Processing Structure e.g., Business Rule Model SYSTEM SYSTEM Architecture Architecture MODEL MODEL (LOGICAL) (LOGICAL) Node = I/S Function Ent = Data Entity Proc .= Application Function (Processor, Storage, etc) People = Role Time = System Event End = Structural Assertion Designer Reln = Data Relationship Cycle = Processing Cycle Designer I/O = User Views Link = Line Characteristics Work = Deliverable Means =Action Assertion e.g. Physical Data Model e.g. System Design e.g. Technology Architecture e.g. Presentation Architecture e.g. Control Structure e.g. Rule Design TECHNOLOGY TECHNOLOGY MODEL MODEL (PHYSICAL) (PHYSICAL) Node = Hardware/System Builder Builder Ent = Segment/Table/etc. Proc.= Computer Function Software People = User Time = Execute End = Condition Reln = Pointer/Key/etc. I/O = Data Elements/Sets Link = Line Specifications Work = Screen Format Cycle = Component Cycle Means = Action e.g. Data Definition e.g. Program e.g. Network Architecture e.g. Security Architecture e.g. Timing Definition e.g. Rule Specification DETAILED DETAILED REPRESEN- REPRESEN- TATIONS TATIONS (OUT-OF- (OUT-OF CONTEXT) CONTEXT) Sub- Sub- Ent = Field Proc.= Language Stmt Node = Addresses Time = Interrupt End = Sub-condition Contractor People = Identity Contractor Reln = Address I/O = Control Block Link = Protocols Work = Job Cycle = Machine Cycle Means = Step FUNCTIONING FUNCTIONING e.g. DATA e.g. FUNCTION e.g. NETWORK e.g. ORGANIZATION e.g. SCHEDULE e.g. STRATEGY ENTERPRISE ENTERPRISE Source: Zachman Institute for Framework Advancement, <www.zifa.com>, as of July 2000 Figure 4. Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture In September 1987, John Zachman published an article in the IBM Systems Journal identifying what he called “A Framework for Information Systems Architecture," sometimes simply referred to as “The Zachman Framework.” This framework has grown to become a de-facto standard for Enterprise Architecture development. In fact, the Zachman Framework provides much of the foundation for the Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework a the frameworks of several nd Federal Departments and Agencies. 23
  39. 39. The basic idea behind the Zachman Framework is that the same complex thing or item can be described for different purposes in different ways using different types of descriptions (e.g., textual, graphical). The Zachman Framework provides the thirty-six necessary categories for completely describing anything; especially complex things like manufactured goods (e.g., appliances), constructed structures (e.g., buildings), and enterprises (e.g., VA and all of its goals, people, and technologies). The framework provides six increasingly detailed views or levels of abstraction from six different perspectives. These levels of abstraction form the rows of the framework and, as adapted to describing enterprises, the rows of the Zachman Enterprise Architecture Framework are as follows: 1. The Planner or Ballpark View 2. The Owner’s or Enterprise Model View 3. The Designer’s or Systems Model View 4. The Builder’s or Technology Model View 5. The Subcontractor’s or Detailed Representation View 6. The Functioning Enterprise or Actual System View In addition, the six categories of Enterprise Architecture components, and the underlying interrogatives that they answer, form the columns of the Zachman Enterprise Architecture Framework and these are: 1. The Data Description — What 2. The Function Description — How 3. The Network Description — Where 4. The People Description — Who 5. The Time Description — When 6. The Motivation Description — Why In Zachman’s opinion, the single factor that makes his framework unique is that each element on either axis of the matrix is explicitly distinguishable from all the other elements on that axis. The representations in each cell of the matrix are not merely successive levels of increasing detail, but actually are different representations — different in context, meaning, motivation, and use. Because each of the elements on either axis is explicitly different from the others, it is possible to define precisely what belongs in each cell. For further readings and more detailed information on the Zachman Framework, please refer to any of John Zachman’s publications listed in Appendix A: References and Suggested Readings, the Zachman Institute for Framework Advancement web site (http://www.zifa.com/), and publications by other authors such as Melissa A. Cook’s text, Building Enterprise Information Architectures: Reengineering Information Systems, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 1996. This appendix also contains a list of other related resources. 24
  40. 40. VA will derive the following benefits from using the Zachman Framework: • Improved information technology budget management/efficiencies. • Increased responsiveness to changing program/business and information technology conditions. • Improved communication between program/business and information technology that contributes to alignment necessary to achieve VA’s mission. • Improved data sharing to those who have a need. • Fully documented and effective corporate repository. • Standardized technology and data across VA. 3.5 Framework Products of Special Note A number of framework products are important enough to warrant particular mention. These include a baseline architecture, target architecture, and security architecture. Additional details about creating and implementing them in VA, as well as the Zachman Framework, Technical Reference Model, Standards Profile, and sequencing plan, are provided in Chapter 4: Development & Deployment of VA’s Enterprise Architecture and Chapter 5: Evaluation, Evolution, & Evergreening of VA’s Enterprise Architecture. • Baseline Architecture The baseline Enterprise Architecture may be thought of as a temporal view of the present-day VA organization and its technology and process environment. As such, this profiles the existing architecture of the full spectrum of the functioning VA enterprise. Moreover, it is the reality of the bottom row of the Zachman Framework as described in the other 30 cells. The baseline architecture focuses on in-place program/business activities and systems/technologies. • Target Architecture The target Enterprise Architecture is the second temporal view captured within the context of the Zachman Framework and contains the desired target elements of the enterprise. When compared to the baseline depiction, the gap analysis can be performed to establish a formal sequencing plan to take VA from the present baseline to the future target through a series of project initiatives organized into a sequencing plan. • Security Architecture A fully developed security architecture affects all cells of the Zachman Framework and all information technology in VA. VA’s security architecture is a tiered (or layered) hierarchy of architectures. The tiers consist of VA security program elements that address all aspects of VA 25
  41. 41. directed policy and standards, common security directions, intra- Administration integration, and VA’s overarching security architecture. The Administration security tiers address individual Administration architectural needs stemming from law, regulation, policy, and program/business area requirements. VA’s Security Architecture describes and discusses actual (baseline) and desired (target) systems within VA’s security domain. It is based on descriptions of services, infrastructures (which are groups of related services), and applications. Relationships between these infrastructures are represented as part of the descriptions of the services and security applications. 26
  42. 42. 4.0 Development & Deployment of VA’s Enterprise Architecture 4.1 Introduction This chapter describes VA’s Enterprise Architecture development and deployment, organizational structure and management controls, processes for development of baseline and target architectures, and development of a sequencing plan for evolving information systems and developing new systems that optimize their mission value. The following factors are critical to the successful development and deployment of VA’s Enterprise Architecture and the application of the Zachman Framework. • Architectural models are comprised of the same architectural documents or products that VA enterprise uses to evaluate, make, and communicate decisions, and not just after-the-fact documentation. • There is organizational commitment to enforce the rigor of the VA’s Enterprise Architecture and maintain a robust Enterprise Architecture information repository. • Funding for information technology initiatives is tied directly to compliance with VA’s Enterprise Architecture and alignment with VA goals and objectives. • Identifying and documenting business processes, information flows and relationships, applications, data, descriptions and relationships, and technology infrastructures. 4.2 Developing the VA Enterprise Architecture After the Office of the Chief Enterprise Architect is established, one of the next steps is to create the architectural products based on the architecture’s purpose and the chosen Zachman Framework. A consistent approach to developing the baseline and target architectures must be followed. The selected approach should include: 1. Constructing a VA Enterprise Architecture Program Management Plan 2. Data collection 3. Preliminary product generation 4. Review and revision 5. Publication and delivery of the architecture products to an appropriate Enterprise Architecture repository 27

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